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Nutritional Concepts Mid-Week Brief
December 10, 2014
Dear Valued Subscriber,

Did you know that food intolerances make your body produce cortisol, which not only adds to our stress load, but kills brain cells and increases belly fat?


Have a happy, healthy week. Bonnie and Steve Minsky

Med-Free Approach to Alzheimer's
Steve: It's about time the Alzheimer's Association takes the role of diet and lifestyle seriously when considering preventive research funding. They recently funded three nondrug therapy studies.


One study will assess the effects of a 12-week intervention of exercise or cognitive stimulation, or a combination of the two, for lowering the risk for cognitive decline and dementia in older adults showing signs of mild cognitive impairment.


We know that several studies have suggested that exercise and cognitive stimulation protect against cognitive decline. However, these have been done in a laboratory, where a patient is supervised. The current study is structured for those doing the intervention on their own.


Another study will look at the impact of an 8-week aerobic interval training regimen on the brain and thinking abilities in people with type 2 diabetes.


The third study focuses on the use of skill-building through Task-Oriented Motor Practice (STOMP) for improving daily life skills and delaying the decline of these skills in people with dementia. STOMP uses repetitive therapy to strengthen and preserve memory for completing daily living tasks.


Followers, Not Leaders 

While the Alzheimer's Association could have been leaders in lifestyle prevention funding, now they are followers. Among many other published studies, an exciting Finnish study gave strong evidence that lifestyle intervention targeting nutritional guidance, physical exercise, cognitive training, social activities, and management of cardiac risk factors resulted in better overall cognitive performance on a comprehensive neuropsychological test battery vs regular health advice.


Another non-Alzheimer's Association funded study published last week discovered that oral resveratrol (well-known phytochemical in wine) in high doses stabilizes amyloid in cerebrospinal fluid and plasma compared with placebo in patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer's disease. The phase 2, one year trial randomly assigned subjects to receive either oral resveratrol 500 mg once daily, escalating to 1000 mg twice daily at 13-week intervals, or placebo.


Two other pleasant secondary outcomes of the resveratrol study:

  • Tumors were much less frequent in the resveratrol group.
  • Some resveratrol patients lost body mass compared with none in the placebo group (average 3 pounds loss versus 3 pound gain).

Bonnie: Resveratrol is a phytoestrogenic compound, so I would not self-prescribe these high amounts. Work with your health professional if you wanted to try this for yourself or someone you know.


How One Medical Facility Is Rethinking Food
Prostate Risk From Dairy? It's Not the Calcium. 

An upcoming study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that high intakes of dairy products, milk, low-fat milk, cheese, and total, dietary, and dairy calcium, but not supplemental or nondairy calcium, may increase total prostate cancer risk.


The results suggest that other components of dairy rather than calcium may increase prostate cancer risk. Bonnie: Chances are it is the high sugar content, inflammatory properties, growth hormone, antibiotics, or all of the above?


A second study in the same journal examining high calcium intake and its association with an increased risk of advanced-stage and high-grade prostate cancer found that phosphorus, not calcium, is independently associated with risk of lethal and high-grade prostate cancer. Steve:Removing soda and other phosphorous-laden beverages will greatly reduce intake.


Two Prostate-Protecting Heroes


The rest of this piece is for NCI Well Connect subscribers. To be a subscriber, click here.